Las Vegas | Donald Trump on Thursday threw hints that he may not accept defeat in the presidential polls which he has been saying is “rigged”, stunning the political scene threatening to overturn US’ democratic convention of a smooth transfer of power.
His stance drew a sharp attack from Hillary Clinton as the two faced off in the feisty final presidential debate in which she was declared the winner.
The controversial 70-year-old Republican candidate maintained that he would keep the suspense about accepting the election result till November 8.
“I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now,” he said in response to a question whether he would accept the poll results, during the third presidential debate at the University of Nevada here.
“I will tell you at that time. I will keep you in suspense,” he said in the primetime debate that lasted for over 90 minutes, reiterating that the current elections are rigged.
“The media is so dishonest and so corrupt and the pile on is so amazing, The New York Times wrote an article about it.
They don’t even care, it’s so dishonest, they’ve poisoned the minds of the voters, but unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it,” he said.
Trump’s comments at the Las Vegas showdown marked a stunning moment that has never been seen in the weeks before a modern US presidential election, CNN said.
“The stance threatens to cast doubt on one of the fundamental principles of American politics the peaceful, undisputed transfer of power from one president to a successor who is recognized as legitimate after winning an election,” it said.
Trump’s remarks came after moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News said the peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of American democracy, depends on the losing candidate accepting the validity of the electoral results.
Democratic nominee, Clinton, described her rival’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election as “horrifying”, and even went so far as to paint him as a “puppet” of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“He is denigrating and he is talking down our democracy,” said the former secretary of state,” the 68-year-old former secretary of state said.
“And I, for one, am appalled that someone who is the nominee of one of two major parties would take that position.”
“Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him,” said Clinton, adding that he has, at various times, accused the FBI, Republican primary process and judicial system of being corrupt.
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